Perfectly Clear by Athentech: Image Enhancement integration and automation

Perfectly Clear by Athentech: Image Enhancement integration and automation

Introduction

In a recent post I examined our integration with the Viesus solution. So, the next logical platform to have a look at is the other big player in image enhancement, the highly regarded Perfectly Clear solution by Athentech, part of the EyeQ Server package.

Understanding Perfectly Clear

From a workflow automation perspective Perfectly Clear is more than just an image enhancement tool: it’s a highly configurable solution that is easily installed on Windows servers and its configurability means it fits well into an automation environment. Its recent AI release has added another layer to that configurability providing the ability to define image enhancement based on image type or applying enhancements to only certain images on a page and excluding backgrounds.

It has a user-friendly interface which enables quite fine levels of control over image adjustments, and provides pretty simple functionality with levels and dials to execute complex changes. A key feature is the creation of channels (aka configuration sets) enabling specific tweaks based on product groups, brand, regional image color preferences and even individual customer brand identities – all good variables to have access to when it comes to workflow automation and business rule based automation in a multi brand environment.

ZenSmart and Perfectly Clear: Integration

Perfectly Clear is a standard ZenSmart integration available as part of the ZenSmart platform. ZenSmart integrates Perfectly Clear into its workflow in a unique way: important in the integration solution is that we can use any metadata associated with the order to drive rules about which Perfectly Clear profile/channel to use. For example, Brand A may have a totally different color profile to Brand B, or Pro Orders a different profile to consumer orders.

Post-order processing in ZenSmart, files are routed into Perfectly Clear’s designated channel hot folders. ZenSmart monitors these folders (both input and output) to verify file processing and it automates retries when they are necessary. The ZenSmart objective is to automate and streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up human resources for more critical functions.

Efficiency and Speed

One of the things we like about Perfectly Clear is its efficiency in file size management. It often produces smaller output files without compromising quality. Its processing speed is also a plus, handling most files in just a few seconds – subject to image count, of course.

The Difference from the ZenSmart Viesus Integration

Unlike the ZenSmart Viesus integration, which processes images in individual JPEG format during the order processing stage, the ZenSmart-Perfectly Clear solution uses a post-processing PDF workflow, with files already having been converted to PDFs. This doesn’t make one better than the other – it’s just a different approach – but one key benefit is that ZenSmart is only “handling” one file per order instead of one file per image – this reduces the chance of unintended file corruption and therefore lowers the number of retries needed.

Automation outcomes: A Comparative View

Both Viesus and Perfectly Clear claim superiority in output quality – but from an output perspective, given this is such a subjective space, which is the better output solution will be a very brand and/or subjective call. Certainly we have heard many strong opinions that given the often poor quality of consumer photography that the brightness and contrast tweaks made are absolutely critical part of many brands core quality positioning in the market.

Our focus is on to what degree they fit into a zero-touch automation flow – by which I mean that there should be absolutely no human involvement with file and image processing and this cost is removed from the business. In that respect, both platforms fit seamlessly and from a workflow automation perspective there is no difference in the robustness of outcome.

Conclusion

In print-on-demand, where image quality can determine whether you are going to get a repeat order, image enhancement tools like Perfectly Clear are important tools that can have a big impact on repeat order rates, reduced levels of inbound customer services and are easily integrated into a workflow solution in a totally automated way.

Interested in Learning More?

To dive deeper into how Perfectly Clear, in conjunction with ZenSmart, can elevate your image processing and overall print quality, visit us at https://zensmart.ai for further details and insights.

Sammy Brent

Sammy Brent is the CIO of ZenSmart, a leading workflow automation platform that streamlines manufacturing in On Demand plants across the world.

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